CME Requirements for Family Physicians
American Academy of Family Physicians' members should inform sponsors and producers of continuing medical Education (CME) programs, [e.g. hospitals, medical schools, and other organizations], of the Academy's CME requirements. If such organizations wish to have their courses and programs reviewed for approval by the Academy, they must follow the criteria, definition and rules of the Academy Sponsors can obtain program application information form AAFP CME Accreditation Services.
Below lists the educational requirements for membership in the AAFP/NCAFP. If you have specific questions about these, contact the NCAFP at 919-833-2110.
- General Requirements
- Sources of Prescribed Credit
- Sources of Elective Credit
- Individual Sources of Credit
General Requirements -
1. Each AAFP active and supporting member, to be eligible for reelection to membership, must complete 150 hours of approved continuing medical education (CME) every three years, of which a minimum of 25 must be obtained from group learning activities and a minimum of 75 must be prescribed credit.
2. Each constituent (state) chapter shall have the option of requiring its members to obtain a portion of their CME credit from that chapter's produced or approved programs. In such case, no more than 25 hours may be required from these programs. It is the responsibility of each chapter to identify which programs are to be designated in the AAFP CME computerized records as chapter approved courses.
3. It shall be the responsibility of each individual member to report hours of CME activity.
Sources for Prescribed Credit -
A CME activity may be approved for Prescribed credit hours if the program is intended primarily for physicians and has been planned/developed with input from an AAFP member who is classified as an Active or Life Member.
1. CME activities for which application has been made to the AAFP Commission on Continuing Medical Education and approved for AAFP Prescribed credit hours.
2. Extended training activity conducted in a teaching hospital which may be individually planned or mini-residency/fellowship programs for which no formal application has been made to the AAFP for CME credit and which are submitted to AAFP commission on continuing medical education as an individual request for consideration and determination of approval. Limit of 50 hours per year.
3. Mini-residency/fellowship programs designed for practicing physcians, and approved by the AAFP Commission on Continuing Medical Education. Limit of 50 hours per week with a maximum of 150 hours per year .
4. Enduring materials (defined as any educational materials which may be retained by the physician as part of the physician's personal library) which have been approved by the AAFP Comission on continuing Medical Education. (For review for approval of Enduring Materials, see definitions and procedures offered in "Information and Rules Regarding Approcal of Enduring Materials - Instruction Sheet for Reprint 103." Hour-for-Hour credit to be allowed as specified upon completion of each course or module
5. Teaching medical students, residents, physicians, physician assisteant students or nurse practitioner students. Maximum of 20 hours per year. (Submitted to AAFP CME Records on the green CME Reporting Form - Card B)
6.Original scientific or socioeconomic research pertaining to patient care, public or community health, published in a state or national "refereed" journal. Limit of 15 hours per paper, with a maximum of 45 hours per three-year-period. (Submitted to AAFP CME Records on the green CME Reporting Form-Card B).
Sources for Elective Credit -
CME programs, outlined as follows, may be acceptable for Elective Credit . No AAFP member family practice input is required for Elective Credit.
1. Presentation or publication at the National Academy, AAFP constituent chapter, or other medical society level of an original scientific or socioeconomic paper pertaining to medical care. Limit of 10 hours per paper, with a maximum of 30 hours per three-year period. (Submitted to AAFP CME Records on the green CME Reporting Form-Card B.)
2. Preparation and presentation of a scientific medical exhibit at a meeting of the National AAFP or AAFP constituent chapter. Limit of 15 hours per three-year period. (Submitted to AAFP CME Records on the green CME Reporting Form-Card B.)
3. Educational activities produced by an organization or institution accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians which have been designated as Category 1 credit for the AMA Physician's Recognition Award and which have not been approved for AAFP Prescribed credit. (NOTE: See "Activities Not Eligible for Credit" for programs which do not qualify.)
4. Other medical educational experiences and programs as well as informal self-learning activities of an enduring nature (described as printed, recorded, or computer assisted materials which may be used over time), which may or may not be documentable, that are not AAFP approved or produced by an ACCME accredited institution or organization (see Item I), but are of a nature of ENRICHMENT to the family physician. (NOTE: See "Activities Not Eligible for Credit" for activities which do not qualify.) Limit of 25 hours per three-year period.
Individual Sources of Credit -
AAFP Option : Individual Requests - AAFP members who have participated in especially designed continuing medical education, e.g., mini-residency/fellowship programs, courses or programs of specific benefit to a member's practice for which the responsible institution/organization did not apply for AAFP credit, are eligible to apply to the Commission on Continuing Medical Education for appropriate AAFP credit on an individual basis. The "Guidelines for Evaluation of Individual Requests for AAFP CME Credit" can be obtained from AAFP CME Accreditation Services department.
Constituent Chapter Options - AAFP Constituent Chapters have the option of awarding Prescribed or Elective credit to any CME activity not specifically covered in this document where the AAFP Definition of Continuing Medical Education has been applied to that activity and the criteria met. Chapters may reject any hours not specifically approved by the AAFP Commission on Continuing Medical Education.
Activities Not Eligible for Credit -
1. Activities which may be educational but which are considered part of a physician's PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY are not eligible for CME credit hours. Such activities include time spent in patient record review, peer review, taking a certification examination, community/public educational activities, and service as a medical missionary.
2. Enduring materials for which the term of approval for CME credit has expired may not be claimed for CME credit hours.
3. Programs produced by proprietary entities such as pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, etc.
(The above requirements and sources of credit were adopted by the Academy's Congress of Delegates in October 1988. Revised September 1994.)